- Getting Proactive About Protein
- Meet Beachbody in Miami!
- Tony's Gonna WOWY!
- Fast Start
Formula has an improved formula
Proactive About Protein
ins and outs of the body's building blocks
By Denis Faye
In the last few
months, we've gotten the skinny on fats and sweetened up our knowledge of carbohydrates.
Now it's time to beef up on protein.
Unlike carbs and
fat, protein isn't actually a fuel. In extreme circumstances, it can be used
as a fuel, but this causes great stress to the body and can result in loss of
muscle mass, given being used as a fuel causes protein to stop doing what it's
supposed to do—act as a building block for body tissue. Muscles, ligaments,
and tendons are all made of and repaired by the stuff.
Meet Team Protein
When you eat protein,
your body breaks it back down into twenty different amino acids. Of the twenty,
eight cannot be manufactured by the human body; therefore, it is essential that
we get them through our diet. These fittingly entitled essential amino acids
are tryptophan, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, valine, leucine,
The other twelve
are glutamine, arginine, tyrosine, glycine, serine, glutamic acid, aspartic
acid, taurine, cystine, histidine, proline, and alanine. While they aren't necessary
for a healthy diet, supplementing of these amino acids isn't uncommon. For example,
many athletes take glutamine. Being the body's primary transporter of nitrogen
into muscle cells, it's used to support muscle growth and inhibit muscle tissue
breakdown. But if you choose to supplement single amino acids, do so with caution.
There still isn't a lot of research on the practice, and some experts believe
it can have negative effects such as inhibiting the absorption of other essential
amino acids, since amino acids compete for space when crossing something called
the blood-brain barrier.
And this is
where you'll find them
Let's focus on
the essential eight. The traditional source of complete protein is meat. Pork,
beef, foul, lamb, fish, alligator, and ants—all creatures great and small
are made of protein. Dairy and eggs are also good sources of complete protein.
But what happens
if you don't want to take all your protein from animals? No problem. The only
nonanimal-derived source of complete protein is soy, so soy milk, tempeh, and
tofu all provide the essential eight.
Even if you don't
like soy, there's still hope, but it gets a little more complex. Whole grains,
such as brown rice and whole wheat, provide some of the eight. Legumes, such
as beans, nuts, and peas, also provide a few of the eight, so by combining the
two, grains and legumes, you get yet another complete source of protein. No
wonder rice and beans play such a major part in diets across the world!
And then there's
protein powder. While it may seem like some magic amino acid elixir, protein
powder comes from pretty mundane stuff. Most powders are either soy- or whey-based,
so they're complete. By the way, although whey is dairy, as in "curds and
whey," whey protein powders are generally lactose free. When choosing a
protein powder, keep in mind that soy tends to aid muscle endurance while whey
works better for muscle resynthesis, so when on a serious weight-training program,
whey can be more advantageous.
Soy and other vegetable
protein sources are perfectly healthy. Vegans and vegetarians may have to pay
more attention to their diet, but they can be just as fit as their flesh-eating
So how much protein
do you need? The RDA is 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight. Any less than
that can lead to reduced resistance to disease, skin and blood changes, slow
wound healing, and muscle wasting. For athletes, the numbers are more like 1.2
to 1.7 grams. But you can lose a lot of sleep juggling these all these numbers,
so if you're trying to lose weight, making protein 30% of your caloric intake
is a good start. Once you've lost the weight and want to build muscle, you might
want to start shifting that percentage around. Many athletes lower that number,
mainly because the more exercise you get the higher percentage of carbs you
need for energy. Others use short-term high-protein diets, which come into play
mainly for bodybuilders trying to get ripped for a competition.
On a meal-to-meal
basis, keep in mind that the body can only digest so much protein per meal.
For women, that number is usually around 25–35 grams. For men, it's around
40–50 grams. If you eat more than that, your body will still break it
down to amino acids, but it will store those acids as fat. This is highly variable
and based on a number of factors, mainly weight and exercise frequency, but
we all have a saturation point. So try and get some protein at each meal.
As with carbs and
fat, taking in protein is all about balance, but if you do find that magic number
(think 40-30-30), your muscles will thank you by growing and toning. The rest
of your body will thank you by staying healthy.
Beachbody in Miami!
Hey everyone, Beachbody
is heading to South Florida to take part in the 6th annual Miami Beach
Fitness Festival. If you're in the Miami area, come on out and join us for
an unforgettable fitness experience that will leave you feeling empowered, sexy,
and strong! We'll be performing a fun and energizing session of our highly popular
Yoga Booty Ballet. Led by creators Gillian Marloth and Teigh McDonough, this
is one workout you won't want to miss. So bring your beach body to the beach
and get ready to shake that booty.
In the heart of South Beach's Art Deco District, between 7th and 9th Streets
on Ocean Drive
When: March 28, 11:45 AM
March 18th at 5:00 PM PST/8:00 PM EST
Tony's Gonna WOWY!
WOWY fever is spreading throughout Beachbody, and now Tony Horton is getting
into the act: Join Tony for a live chat at 5:00 PM PST on Thursday, March
18th, and then log in to WOWY to crush your daily workout! (Tony and some
of his workout buddies will be doing "Back & Biceps." You can do whatever
workout you choose—just
be sure to BRING IT!) Be prepared—sign
up now for WOWY, so you can log in and work out with THE MAN! click